The Roads and Buildings department is gearing up to invite tenders for construction of the new Secretariat complex soon.
The department, in consultation with the architects, Chennai-based Oscar and Ponni Architects, has completed preparation of the estimates required for the new complex. “Tenders will be invited this week,” a senior R&B official told The Hindu.
The development follows the consent given by the State Cabinet at its meeting early this month for ₹400 crore proposed to be spent on the state-of-the-art new complex which will have several unique features. Accordingly, the department has asked the architects to prepare estimates and bills relating to the quantities of all items which go into a building and the same was submitted to the department last week.
In the meanwhile, the department had speeded up the process for obtaining necessary clearances before formally calling for tenders. It had secured the approval of the Airports Authority of India for the construction of the new complex. Though the Begumpet airport lying in the vicinity is not being used for commercial operations, clearance of the AAI was required as operation of flights was continuing from the old airport.
The department had applied for clearances of the Pollution Control Board, Fire and Civic departments. Since a majority of clearances are within the purview of the State, obtaining them will not be a problem.
The salient features of the legislations relating to protection of lakes, WALTA and others are being studied, in association with the Law department, not to give scope for any legal hurdles in the process. “We have kept on hold the tender process till the clearances are received so as to avoid scope for any complications in future,” the official said. The Environment Impact Assessment authority too had given its go-ahead for the construction of the new complex, thus clearing the way for the construction of the new complex. The government, it may be recalled, has insisted that modern technology should be utilised as far as possible so that the construction of the close to seven lakh sq.ft complex with seven floors can be completed within 10 months.
The R&B department has, accordingly, prepared an action-plan on the commencement of works stage-wise after the tenders are finalised. The department is anticipating that the number of bidders would be low given the magnitude of the work involved and it has appointed a retired superintending engineer exclusively to supervise the construction process and submit reports on the progress to the government on a weekly basis.